Park Avenue Trail, Arches National Park – splendidly divine

April 6, 2016

Park Avenue Trail in Arches National Park, Bud Walley photo, Department of Interior image

From Interior’s Facebook feed: The massive sandstone monoliths along Park Avenue Trail at Arches National Park in Utah have imaginative and descriptive names. You won’t regret this easy one-mile hike. Where else can you walk in the shadows of the Tower of Babel, the Organ, the Three Gossips and Sheep Rock? Photo by Bud Walley (www.sharetheexperience.org). — at Arches National Park.

And a reminder that Utah’s Sen. Mike Lee and Texas’s Sen. Ted Cruz think this land should be developed. Want a condo on that cliff?

I’d prefer to hike it. I’d prefer to know it’s there, available for hiking without development, even when I can’t hike it.

It’s your public land. You get to use it, undeveloped, or you don’t get to use it if the land is developed. We still have a voice, and time to speak.


Timpanogos timelapse, a reverse setting sun?

February 25, 2016

Again from Twitter, a series of photographs of Utah’s Mount Timpanogos.

From top to bottom, it looks like a sunrise on the mountain. But Timpanogos faces west; the sun rises from behind this face. Two possible explanations. The more mundane explanation would be that the series starts with the bottom photo, progressing to the top. Shadows support that explanation.

The slightly more colorful explanation would be, as we often see here in Texas, weather moving from west to east; and in the late afternoon a cover of clouds moves far enough east that the setting sun finally is uncovered, peeking out from underneath the clouds to light the land with that wonderful golden hour sun for a few minutes, before setting.

Timpanogos, like the rock it is, sits majestically either way.

Tweet from sofiaaugustineadams (@sofiaaadams): Mountain time #timelapse #timpanogos

Tweet from sofiaaugustineadams (@sofiaaadams): Mountain time #timelapse #timpanogos

I Tweeted Ms. Adams (I’m presuming her name to be Sofia Augustine Adams) to ask which it is. For those who love Timpanogos, it won’t matter much.

My guess is the photo was taken from south of Orem, Utah, probably near Interstate Highway 15 which transects Utah County.

Update: Ms. Adams informs us  (see comments) it is a setting sun, with the bottom photo being the first in the series. Thank you!


Oil in Mt. Timpanogos?

February 19, 2016

During the RARE II Wilderness Assessment process, and during the Sagebrush Rebellion of the 1970s and 1980s, wildcatters along the Rocky Mountains spine of the west would say we couldn’t rule out any area as having no oil unless we drilled first.

But no one’s found oil in Timpanogos.

Instead, we’ve found Timpanogos in oil.

Mt. Timpanogos Millennium, by Adam Abram (b. 1976). From Tweet by Don Ruggles (@DHRuggles) and @TeresaVeiga1

Mt. Timpanogos Millennium, by Adam Abram (b. 1976). From Tweet by Don Ruggles (@DHRuggles) and @TeresaVeiga1

It’s an interesting view of the mountain, from the southwest. At the right of the picture is Provo Canyon. The body of water must be the Provo River, but in a serene state I think could not have existed at any time. The bluffs shown past the juniper trees are unfamiliar to me.  I’m guessing the artist, Adam Abram, has idealized Timpanogos as the Mormon pioneers might have found it. The area portrayed is probably part of Orem, Utah, today — covered by housing tracts and power lines.

Anyone know? A topological map covering the mouth of Provo Canyon to where the river enters Utah Lake might offer much more specific information. I don’t have one of those at the moment.

Compare it with this photo of Timpanogos (in late summer) by Bob Walker of Orem, 2012:

Utah's Mount Timpanogos looking Northeast; Provo Canyon to the left of the photo. Photo by Bob Walker.

Utah’s Mount Timpanogos looking Northeast; Provo Canyon to the left of the photo. Photo by Bob Walker.

Almost update: I went looking for Adam Abram. You can hang a print of his Mount Timpanogos Millennium for under $30 (a bargain).

Abram explains his painting:

I grew up in the shadow of beautiful Mt. Timpanogos.  This mountain, towering over Utah Valley, stands at 11,749 feet above sea level and once rose above the shores of ancient Lake Bonneville.  Its name is a Paiute word meaning “river of rock.” My goal as an artist was to memorialize my favorite mountain with a 19th century style similar to the Hudson River School. In the process of creation, I did studies of several trees from around the mountain and painted them in.  Sadly, those trees have been torn down with the growth of business and home development. This painting is a tribute to the beauty and majesty of this incredible mountain. This painting won 3rd place in the prestigious 2007 International ARC salon.

I’m not alone in loving that mountain. Who knew?


Cold day sunrise under Mt. Timpanogos

February 12, 2016

Tweet from @CharBailey5479: Sunrise shroud on Mt. Timpanogos - have a great day! #utwx #utah

Tweet from @CharBailey5479: Sunrise shroud on Mt. Timpanogos – have a great day! #utwx #utah

Utah’s Mount Timpanogos rises on the east side of Utah Valley, in Utah County, over Utah Lake.

At about 6,000 feet above the valley floor, the mountain can make its own weather at times. On a cold winter morning, sun struggling to climb over the peak can expose clouds from sublimating ice on the mountain, or clouds from ice crystals blown off the top slopes.

Any way they form, it can be a spectacular start to another day.

Much of my childhood was spent about five miles south and east of the spot this photo was taken (American Fork?). The mountain filled most of my bedroom window. A sunrise like this one would look like a forest fire in my room. But film was expensive, and my camera was a snapshot special.

Thanks to @CharBailey5479, whoever you are.


Remember the day they flew the U.S. flag backwards from the Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City?

January 4, 2016

Holly Munson at the Constitution Center wrote up a piece about Utah’s perhaps odd path to statehood, certainly complementary to my reminder that you could fly your flags on January 4, to honor Utah’s statehood, under the U.S. Flag Code.  Munson’s piece was distributed on Yahoo! News.

Her report is very solid, even though brief.  Utah history is nothing if not a convoluted path to statehood through what amounted to a civil war, the Mexican War, the discovery of gold in California, the transcontinental railroads, mining and immigration, Indian wars, old west shootouts, rampant environmental destruction with sheep grazing and mineral extraction and smelting, union strife, astonishing agricultural applications, and a lot of books written from tens of thousands of Mormon pioneer journals — Mormonism appears to be impossible without ink and paper and time to write.

Go read her story.

What caught my eye was the George W. Reed photograph of the Salt Lake City Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — the LDS, or Mormon church.  The Temple and the Tabernacle, also in the photo, both have their own unique architectural histories, and quirks that make them noteworthy purely from architecture.  (This George W. Reed should not be confused with the Civil War Medal of Honor winner, George W. Reed)

Reed was an early photographer for newspapers in Salt Lake City, and he took some wonderful photos for posterity.  He was also a founder of the leading non-Mormon paper in the state, The Salt Lake Tribune.  At points in its history, it’s been known as an anti-Mormon paper.  The University of Utah’s library holds about five dozen of his photos in their collection, indexed electronically if not quite available yet; there Reed is described:

A pioneer in the development of Utah newspapers, George Reed was originally employed by the Deseret News and in 1871 helped in establishing the Salt Lake Tribune. His photographs include nineteenth century views of Salt Lake City, individuals at Reed’s Avenue home, Wasatch Resort in Little Cottonwood Canyon, and a photograph of the American flag hung on the Salt Lake Temple in 1896 to commemorate Utah’s statehood.

In the collection of Utah State University, in Logan, Reed has yet more papers.  There we get a bit more of his history:

A pioneer in Utah journalism, George W. Reed was born in London, England, on April 7, 1833. He emigrated to Utah in 1862 and became manager of the Deseret News, a position he held until 1871 when he founded the Salt Lake Tribune. In 1882, after a decade at the Tribune, Reed sold his interest in the paper to P. H. Lannan. He married Elizabeth Tuddenham in 1866 and passed away December 1, 1909.

U.S. flag on the Mormon Temple, at Utah statehood in 1896

The Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah, draped with a U.S. flag in 1896, commemorating the completion of Utah’s statehood campaign when President Grover Cleveland declared Utah a member of the Union. Photo by George W. Reed; Reed worked for the Deseret News, and helped found the Salt Lake Tribune. I do not know whether this photo was published in either paper.  From the George W. Reed Collection, University of Utah Libraries.

Yes, you’re right!  That flag is backwards.  Well, it’s backwards according to the modern U.S. Flag Code, which specifies that when hung from a building, the flag’s union should always be in the viewer’s upper left corner (“northwest” corner were it a standard map).  In the photograph, the union is in the opposite corner.  No, we know the photo is not reversed, because it accurately portrays the location of the Tabernacle, to the west and slightly south of the Temple.

But we hear the protests:  The U.S. Flag Code did not exist in 1896!  How can that be a violation of a code that did not exist?

That’s right, too.

That is an indication that the traditions of flag display that some people get riled up about, that many people think we should amend the Constitution to protect, are new inventions more than old traditions.  Flag code violations are legion by well-meaning citizens celebrating the flag and patriotism, and rare by anyone with any malignant motives.

After a 49-year fight for statehood, through wars with the U.S., fighting with the U.S. forces in Mexico, the administrations of several presidents and 25 different U.S. Congresses, and pledges to change the rules of the church to ban polygamy and put that ban in the state constitution,  the people of Utah, especially the Mormon officials, were not trying to insult America by displaying the flag incorrectly.  Somebody said ‘fly the flag from the Temple,’ and some engineer or custodian got it done.  By 1896, most of the First Amendment litigation done in the U.S. had involved whether Mormons could keep their marriage policies (Mormons lost).  There was no intent to violate any rule of separation of church and state — nor would that be considered a violation today.  Churches may fly the nation’s flag with all the approval that suggests; it’s the government which may not fly a church’s flag.

Finally, there is no grand story in the flag’s being flown backwards.  It’s just one of those historical footnotes that mark the changing mores of the times, in this case, for standards of how to fly the U.S. flag.

Perhaps Utah history textbooks should make note of the day the U.S. flag was flown, backwards, to honor statehood.

More, and related resources:

Yes, this is mostly an encore post. Fighting ignorance requires patience.

Of course this is an encore post. Fighting ignorance requires patience. No one has changed the Utah history textbooks yet.


Utah at 120: Fly colors for Utah statehood, January 4, 1896

January 4, 2016

Utah Capitol, with flags

South entrance (main) to the Utah State Capitol, with U.S. and Utah flags flying on the single flag poll, and the snow-dusted Wasatch Mountains in the background. Utah State Law Library photo.

Utah joined the Union on January 4, 1896.  It had been a 49-year slog to statehood for Deseret, the Mormon settlement in the Desert.  The size had been pared down, so it would not be the biggest state, incorporating parts of what is now Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, Idaho, Colorado and New Mexico.  New capitals had been tried and cast aside (Fillmore, Utah).  Democratic Party rule was broken when LDS church authorities went door-to-door, calling every other family to the Republican Party, and party parity.  The Mormon Church abandoned polygamy, and adopted a state constitution that gave the vote to women.

Finally, Utah became the 45th state.

You may fly your U.S. flag today for Utah statehood, especially if you’re in Utah.

Happy birthday, Utah!  120 years old today.

Next federal flag-flying date: January 6, in honor of New Mexico’s statehood.

More:

U.S. flag in Capitol Reef NP

U.S. flag flying at Capitol Reef National Park, in Utah. Photo by longyang0369, via Flickr

Much of this material appeared here before; this is an annual event, after all.


Tearing down historic Chipman’s Department Store, American Fork Utah, 1992

November 11, 2015

Caption on photo from American Fork Public Library:

Caption on photo from American Fork Public Library: “This photo was taken February, 1992, just before final demolition of the Chipman store. The last thing to fall was the front part, with the C H I P M A N name still intact.”

In 1962, a position for my father heading the furniture department at Chipman’s Mercantile in American Fork, Utah, prompted our family’s move from Burley, Idaho. We found a home in Pleasant Grove, about five miles south and east of American Fork.

I was rather surprised to find this photo in digital collections I was searching through the Provo, Utah, public library.

Description of the photo:

Title Partial demolition of Chipman’s, formerly Chipman’s Mercantile, on the corner of Main Street, Merchant Street and Center Street. Built in 1884, demolished in 1992.
Description Partial demolition of Chipman’s, formerly Chipman’s Mercantile, on the corner of Main Street, Merchant Street and Center Street. Built in 1884 by James and Stephen L. Chipman. The store was once the biggest department store in Utah County. It was demolished in 1992.
Subject American Fork, (Utah); Business enterprises; Department stores; Wrecking;
Date 1992-02-01
Photographer Peterson, Wanda S.
Rights Copyright 1992 American Fork City. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Publisher Published by American Fork Public Library; Digitized and hosted by Utah Valley University

It’s symbolic of the history of places we lose all too easily.

Plus, it brings back so many memories of the small towns in which I grew up.

Chipman’s played a big role in the development of American Fork, and northern Utah County. The store was an early success, and the Chipman family became locally prominent, and played an interesting role in the development of science education at two Utah universities.

Two Chipman sisters (daughters of James or Stephen Chipman?) married scientists. One married the great chemist, Henry Eyring, who took a position at the University of Utah to stay close to his wife’s family. The other married the great physicist Harvey Fletcher, who took a position at Brigham Young University, again to stay close to his wife’s family.  Harvey Fletcher served on the board of Chipman’s for a time, and bought furniture there. My father asked me to accompany him on a delivery to the Fletcher’s Provo home, probably trying to prompt an interest in science in me. A few years later in Chipman’s store, my father introduced me to the Fletchers’ son, James C. Fletcher, who would later become president of the University of Utah, and then twice head NASA.

Mrs. Fletcher made great cookies. I wasn’t prescient enough to get even autographs from any of them.

On a July day, probably about 1968, during a street fair, the band I played in performed from the back of a flatbed truck on the street to the right of the photo. We discovered Dick Gardiner’s Farfisa organ lost its tuning in the sun.

The site of the store was turned into a parking lot. The Bank of American Fork put up some drive-up tellers on the site later.


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